Jaide Hinds-Clarke wanted more than a basketball career and an education in her four years at the University of Richmond. She wanted to build a long-lasting community for herself and for others around her.
Hinds-Clarke is a senior forward on the women’s basketball team, but she is also involved in organizations both at UR and in the greater Richmond community that deal with issues of diversity and inclusion.
She is a co-founder of the Shades of Pride affinity group and serves as the LGBTQ program and event coordinator for the Office of Common Ground. She has also been a senior intern for the past two summers at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
Hinds-Clarke said she had co-founded Shades of Pride in 2018 to empower LGTBQ students of color by creating a community for them and their allies.
“I do a lot of community-building and try to get LGTBQ students of color to recognize that they have a community on campus,” Hinds-Clarke said.
After co-founding Shades of Pride, she was awarded the 2019 Black and Bold leadership award, which was presented by Diversity Richmond, an organization dedicated to serving the Richmond LGTBQ community. The award honors LGTBQ leaders within the community who are working to uplift and empower LGTBQ citizens, Hinds-Clarke said.
Hinds-Clarke was also awarded the Jones Impact Award by UR’s Office of Multicultural Affairs in 2019. This award is given to a student-athlete who is a leader in athletics, on campus and in the broader community, Hinds-Clarke said.
In fall 2019 she was the multicultural orientation chair, a role in which she worked to create a network to help multicultural first-year students ease their transition into college, Hinds-Clarke said.
“My transition to the University of Richmond went pretty smoothly in that I found a community quickly,” Hinds-Clarke said. “But I also understood that not everyone is fortunate enough to find that community they’re looking for. That’s why I wanted to find out how to make others’ transitions easier.”
Hinds-Clarke also attended the NCAA Inclusion Forum in 2018 and 2019, connecting her social justice passions to athletics.
“It deepened my desire to understand how diversity and inclusion can be incorporated into athletics,” Hinds-Clarke said. “I think sports can service social change when used correctly. As student-athletes, we are some of the biggest leaders on campus, so a lot of people are looking to us to see what our first moves are in terms of diversity and inclusion.”
Hinds-Clarke said that starting in her first year, she had known she had wanted to get the most out of her college experience, and she had felt as if she couldn’t do that if she focused solely on athletics, despite her passion for basketball and her close relationships with her teammates.
“That side is super important to me,” Hinds-Clarke said. “But I also don’t want to walk out after four years and only have my teammates to have memories with.”
She likewise encourages other student-athletes to get involved in campus organizations they’re passionate about that do not take away from their athletic responsibilities.
Hinds-Clarke will continue to combine her passions as she attends graduate school in fall 2020 at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she will be pursuing a master’s in sport leadership.
Alex Parson, a junior on the women’s basketball team, described her teammate as strong and passionate both on and off the court.
“If Jaide wants something to change for the better, she’s going to be the one to make that change,” Parson said. “She is very much an advocate for herself and for others.”
Emma Squires, a sophomore on the basketball team, said she saw how Hinds-Clarke translated her leadership qualities in basketball to her everyday life.
“She’s a leader on the court like she is in everything else she’s involved in,” Squires said. “She’s just so involved in everything and she’s a role model for all of us, both her on the team and every other group she’s involved in. She’s done a lot here. I’m really proud of her.”
Hinds-Clarke’s teammates also celebrated her recent accomplishment of becoming the 25th player in program history to score 1,000 points, she said.
“The game didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” Hinds-Clarke said. “But to look over after hitting that shot and see how excited my teammates were for me after we weren’t in a good position in the game, that really meant a lot to me.”
Contact contributor Olivia Tripodi at email@example.com.